Piruchi Apo Botupá and her niece Paloma Loribo Apo began singing and performing in their home town on the island of Bioko, off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in western Africa. Having achieved all that they could in their native country, they moved to Spain in 1993. Their home, their culture, their traditions, and equally the sense of alienation arising from being in a strange land, and the problems of modern life, strongly color their lyrics.
From the time they began singing, Piruchi and Paloma strongly emphasized the importance of their Bubi traditions. Bubi is the native language of Bioko, one of four hundred dialects of Bantu spread across central Africa. Because of the Spanish colonization, Spanish had become the official language during their parents’ childhood, and not only language but also the traditions of storytelling, dancing, and singing, among others, began to disappear. Fearing that in another generation, all the traditions, whether arts or ways of raising children, would be completely gone, Sibèba included traditional fertility rites and invocations in their material, and used traditional music with their contemporary lyrics about the importance of maintaining their own culture in their performances.
In an interview, Piruchi pointed out that they have no intention of attacking modernity. “What we are attempting is to make people understand that you can’t destroy what others have done before in order to be modern. How can you have an identity without culture and tradition? No matter how far you’ve gone, you can’t lose sight of who you are and where you came from.”